Prevalence and determinants of postnatal depression in a tertiary care teaching institute in Kerala, India

Heera Shenoy T., Remash K., Sheela Shenoy T.


Background: Pregnancy and childbirth produce a variety of physiological, psychological and social consequences. Attitudes toward pregnancy and childbirth vary from culture to culture. Prevalence estimates range from 13 to 19% in resource-rich settings and 11 to 42% in resource- limited settings PND has a significant impact on the mother, the family, her partner and mother-infant interaction. This research aims to aid the early diagnosis of postnatal depression and the socio-demographic, obstetric, family dynamics, neonatal characteristics and psychiatric determinants of depression using EPDS among postnatal women in a tertiary hospital in Kerala state, India.

Methods: 119 women between 2 to 6 weeks of postpartum period were subjected to a pre-tested pre-structured standard questionnaire. Diagnosis of depression was made using the Edinburgh postnatal depression scale. Possible depression is values >13 or more are invariably associated with depression.

Results: Young age at marriage (p-value 0.022), love marriage (p-value 0.040) and low social support inadequate relationship with the in-laws was significantly associated with PND (p-0.003). Low birth weight was a significant determinant of PND (p-value-0.018). Gender of the new-born, fear and preference towards any particular gender and order of female child in multiparous woman had no association in determining postnatal depression. Childcare stress (p-value-0.011), psychiatry history in family and personal history of depression and mothers with low self-esteem (p-value-0.001) had odds of developing postnatal depression in the study.

Conclusions: Early screening of the women and counselling of women and their family will reduce the maternal morbidity and adverse child outcomes.


Edinburgh postnatal depression scale, Gender, Marriage, Postnatal depression, Postnatal mothers, Relationship, Significant

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